Madera & Madera Ranchos

City of Madera and Madera Ranchos Highways 99 and 145

From stagecoach holdups to the hunt for notorious outlaw Black Bart, Madera County has a rich history of the gold rush, the logging industry, and the struggle to become its own county. Madera, which means “wood” in Spanish, shifted from a thriving timber market to a bountiful agriculture industry. It is now a gateway to Yosemite National Park hosting tourist and locals alike in quaint towns and cities that evolved from a lively past. 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of Madera County. Come join us in an eventful year of celebration! More information regarding anniversary events can be found at Find us on Facebook.

The mountain area is rich in the history of the 1859 California Gold Rush towns, with such names as Coarsegold, Finegold, Grub Gulch, Ahwahnee and Nipinnawassee. In 1856, Madera became a California county. The discovery of gold brought the first big wave of immigrants, most of them placer miners who worked along the streams that were rich in precious metal, and soon a new mining era came with the development of hard-rock ledge mining for gold, silver and copper. 

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Main Visitors Center
40343 Highway 41,
Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
Email us!

Chowchilla Visitors Center
at the Fossil Discovery
Center of Madera County
19450 Avenue 21-1/2
Chowchilla, CA 93610
(Exit 164, off Highway 99)


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